Late Thursday afternoon, as the evening darkness gathered around them, teenagers from Ithaca’s high schools assembled outside City Hall. Their purpose: To express opposition to the agenda of President-Elect Donald Trump, and to urge Democratic elected officials in joining this opposition.
For a half an hour, they gave speeches, read poetry, and exchanged information, while traffic on Green Street and passers-by leaving the Tompkins County Public Library expressed their vigorous approval. Then, with traffic marshals guiding them, they marched up Cayuga Street and through the Commons to take a stand outside the offices of Congressman Tom Reed.
Tom Reed announced last night that he is taking time away from his duties as U.S. Representative to take on the position as Vice Chair of the Trump transition team. Congressman Reed will be working under the direction of Steve Bannon, who managed the transformation of Breitbart into a “platform for the Alt-Right”. “Alt-Right” has become a euphemism among right wing extremists for Americans who promote new iterations of Nazi ideology.
Tom Reed has yet to make a statement repudiating the Nazi ideology of his new manager. Reed’s aides took notice of the protest outside their window, however, peering through blinds and taking photographs of the demonstration to share with their boss.
The protest was completely nonviolent. However, just as the demonstrators were preparing to leave for the evening, a Trump supporter aggressively shoved his way into the crowd, threatening to physically attack anyone who challenged him. Not one of the anti-Trump protesters took the bait, but simply walked back to City Hall, where they resumed their demonstration. Other Trump voters shouted obscenities at the teenagers, but the protesters did not respond in kind. Instead, they merely chanted “Love trumps hate.”